The Forums are places to gather as a learning community and discuss current topics in science.

Each forum is limited to two weeks, accommodates a maximum of 20-25 participants, and requires pre-payment and registration. Participants in two-week forums will review background literature on a current scientific topic, then voice their opinions using the readings to support their ideas. Each forum is moderated by a scientist who will post an initial prompt. Each participant’s response is a seed that can develop into fruitful discussion with fellow forum participants. The moderator advances the group’s understanding and knowledge with questions and comments. Supplemental information on a forum topic may also be found in the Mini-Lectures and Reviews sections of the site.

The Forum is participant-driven. Participants receive personalized attention to their needs and questions, and the more input and questions participants have, the more scientific guidance will be given. One-to-one discussion with the scientists leads to the identification and remediation of misconceptions, misinformation, and lack of background content knowledge. Some participants will be learning the topics for the first time. Others will deepen and update their knowledge, and possibly follow this exploration to related topics of interest. Since all participants can read and comment on all forum interactions, everyone benefits.

Possible future topics include:

  • The positives and negatives of GMOs: Golden Rice
  • Egg engineers
  • Paths from pesticides to Parkinson’s
  • Microbiome and you: HGP versus HMP
  • Farming and antibiotics
  • Is genetic engineering the future?

In addition to the paid forums there are also two free forums where all members can participate: the Collaborative Lesson Plan Forum, and the Questions and Answers Forum.

    • Evolution

      July 13– September 30, 2015
      This online professional development course focuses on one of the two pillars of biology, Evolution. This course will cover the main concepts of evolution, explore the mechanisms behind this process, and applied these concepts to the construction of lesson plans.

    • Genetically Modified Organisms: Golden Rice

      March 17– March 31, 2015
      This forum focuses on Golden Rice — a genetically modified rice engineered to produce β-carotene; a precursor of vitamin A. We will explore the science behind genetically modified organisms, consider the controversy surrounding the use of GMOs for human consumption, and survey the current thinking and actions taken by the stakeholders of this argument. This is a two-week paid forum that is only available to members of The Owlet, and is limited to 25 registrants who sign up on a first come, first served basis.

    • Professional Development: The Nature of Science & Science in Nature

      February 10– March 17, 2015
      The first professional development course focused on high school biology and the tree of life.

    • Professional Development: The Nature of Science & Science in Nature NYC

      March 9– April 20, 2015
      The objectives of this professional development opportunity are to keep teachers scientifically updated and to connect students to local natural settings.

    • Second Professional Development course: the Plainsboro Preserve

      April 7– May 19, 2015
      Inquiry-based instruction and active learning help students to develop cognitive skills, critical thinking, independent learning, and responsibility for the stewardship of our planet.

    • Questions and answers forum
      This is a discussion forum that is free for all Owlet subscribers. You can submit general questions on teaching or scientific topics, make a suggestion for a lesson plan unit, or submit a topic you would like to see reviewed or explained as a mini-lecture.

    • Collaborative lesson plan forum
      This is a space for sharing teaching and science resources, and for collaboratively developing and improving lesson plans and units. Drawing from your suggestions in the Questions and answers forum, a topic will be defined, then developed. The final product will be archived in the Lesson Plan Bank. Access to this forum is free for all members of The Owlet.